In Cuba, an island caught between the grandeur of old world glory and the decay of the immediate epoch, I found an urban landscape that reflects a struggle between daily life and the slow forces of Nature.
Havana echoes the architecture of a decadent and multicultural past. In the vestigial remains of a one street Chintown, are found 13 casinos or clubs each a center for the few old members of that clan to share their morning teatime. Trinidad echoes the interior grandeur of the colonial homes, each displaying a family's eclectic possessions. Santiago de Cuba echoes the deeply entrenched religions of Santaria, Congo, Spiritus and Catholicism. Household shrines often honor all aspects of these beliefs.
I came to work on this portfolio through shouted invitations to visit people's homes as I wander down the streets carrying my 4 x 5 camera on a tripod. Each home lead to the neighboring home and each one-room casa holds stored-away treasures of gold trimmed porcelain, doll collections, photos of Che and Fidel when they were young men and memorabilia of a widow of his wife.
However, tangible new energy of reconstruction and restoration stages this country's rebirth. The abandoned pleasure gardens and the intimate interiors of homes are in the flux of metamorphoses.